Get ready for possibly the best selfies than on the iPhone 14. Some big changes are apparently in the works for the front-facing camera on all models that could really up its image quality.
As claimed by Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst familiar with the company's supply chain, this year's flagship iPhone line-up will gain autofocus on their selfie cameras for the first time. Kuo goes on to name which companies are making the various parts of the camera, but for us average users, these are the key takeaways.
iPhone 14 front camera rumors (cheat sheet)
- iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro series are both tipped to offer auto-focus, which should result in clearer shots.
- A new 6-part lens is expected to replace the 5-part lens, which should lead to fewer distortions and artifacts in images.
- The iPhone 14 is also tipped for a wider f/1.9 aperture, letting in more light than the current f/2.2 sensor. That would mean better quality in low light.
Currently, your iPhone selfie camera uses fixed focus, meaning you'll only get your clearest shots if you hold the phone a certain distance away from your face. Autofocus will instead mean the camera will be able to adapt to different distances, giving you more freedom to take photos as you wish.
In terms of specific upgrades, Kuo says the new selfie camera module will add a voice coil motor (VCM) to power the autofocus plus a 6-part lens, an upgrade over the current 5-part lens. A 6P lens should make for fewer distortions and artifacts in your selfie images, as these can be caused by reflections within cameras with less complex lenses.
Previous rumors have said that the selfie shooter will also use a new, wider f/1.9 aperture (current iPhones use an f/2.2 aperture). A wider aperture means more light shining on the sensor beneath, and that should make for better performance in low-light conditions. It'll also mean a lower depth of field though, so Apple will need to rework its portrait mode algorithm and other camera effects to compensate.
Unfortunately, these rumors have also said that adding this new camera tech could make the iPhone 14 more expensive to make. We've already heard that the iPhone 14 Pro range will cost $100 more than the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. And the new iPhone 14 Max will start at $899 while the iPhone mini gets the ax. But we're not sure about the pricing for the regular iPhone 14.
The other big rumored camera upgrade is only tipped for the iPhone 14 Pro, namely a 48MP main camera. The rest of the cameras, including the main camera on the standard iPhone 14, are said to be sticking with 12MP. This is perhaps disappointing given how rival Android phones are regularly offering much higher resolution cameras. On the other hand, this hasn't stopped the iPhone from topping our best camera phones guide.
If Apple sticks to its usual schedule, we should see the iPhone 14 debut this September. Until then, you can keep up with all the latest rumors and leaks in our iPhone 14 hub, or our iPhone 14 Pro hub if you're more interested in Apple's top-performing phones.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.